If your network is like typical networks, it is multi-generational, containing a mix of bleeding-edge equipment with some current- and previous-generation. Some of your network may have even reached its end of life, even though it’s working fine in your network.
While you think you only have two options—to either upgrade as per the OEM’s directive or risk having no support—we’re happy to let you know that there are cost-effective options beyond these. Cloud Connectiv team can managed your hardware lifecycle. We’ve put together tips to show you how you can extend the life of your network while saving money.
Maximizing Business Potential
1. Stay ahead of the end-of-support game.
Your network may be running smoothly until one day, the OEM throws a curveball by announcing that your bread-and-butter switches are quickly approaching their end-of-support (EoS) date. The best way to keep your bases covered in this scenario? Stay up-to-date with what’s coming.
An EoS announcement could be alarming if you don’t know your support and upgrading options—after all, maintaining your company’s network uptime is on your shoulders. With that said, don’t garner publicity with downtime. Let us help you stay ahead of the curve by end-of-support dates, updated as frequently as the announcements come.
2. Don’t upgrade if you don’t have to.
You have equipment approaching end-of-support, but you’re pretty happy with your network configurations and so is your company. And you already know full well that not only is upgrading a significant investment, but you’d also have to learn and train your team on the new functionalities and set up your network all over again. So do you really have to go through the pain of upgrading?
The truth is, manufacturers often announce end-of-support long before equipment upgrade or replacement is necessary. Cloud Connectivhas reiterated this point, saying that “network equipment has considerably longer useful life, often longer than the OEM is willing to support the product” in a study conducted on behalf of Curvature.
3. Leverage a maintenance alternative and extend the life of your equipment.
You may be thinking, “If I don’t upgrade, then how will I get software updates without OEM support?” To answer this question simply: If Cisco issues software updates, many of them would be publicly available at no cost off Cisco’s website and often wouldn’t require SMARTnet. If Cisco doesn’t issue software updates, then you likely won’t need a SMARTnet contract anyway.
Much of the market tied to SMARTnet contracts still believe that it’s required to get software updates and bug patches, so they renew their SMARTnet contracts each year and end up paying a premium on network maintenance. Don’t just take our word for it — Cloud Connectivbacks this up in a recent study on your peers: “Maintenance agreements with OEMs are costly and do not always provide maintenance and upgrades for the hardware that customers are running. [..] Customers pay a lot of money for service they never use.”
If they had known that SMARTnet is not required to get software updates for certain hardware, or that Cisco does not issue additional updates for certain equipment, they could cut their maintenance costs significantly. With all this said, it is only rational to leverage third-party maintenance services like NetSure, Curvature’s third-party maintenance service, perfect for equipment where IOS updates are publically available or are no longer in development. A few examples include the Cisco Catalyst 4500, 4500E, 3850, 3750, 3750 v2, 3750-E, 3750-X, 3560, 3560 v2, 3560-C, 3560-E, 3560-X, 2960, 2960-C, and 2960-S Series Switches. For typical networks, about 70% of equipment will fall into this category where NetSure is a great fit.
4. Recycle and trade in legacy gear.
Customers with leased or aging hardware have the most to gain from a program that allows you to trade in equipment for cash. The pieces of equipment that are sold will create a revenue stream that otherwise would be a recycling cost. Why not monetize hardware that is of little use to you? An added benefit: You’re doing Mother Nature a favor by doing your part in reducing e-waste.
Connected Globally, Quickly, Securely
When it comes to connectivity, colocation means a business is connected globally, quickly and securely. We find that many companies with onsite server rooms often do not have onsite access to a resilient Internet connection, nor do they have dedicated personnel monitoring traffic flow to ensure they always remain on.
Colocation enables organizations to benefit from faster networking and resilient connectivity at a fairly low price – delivering 100 mbps of bandwidth might be hard at an office location and trying to create a redundant solution is often financially unviable. Data centers are connected to multiple transit providers and also have large bandwidth pipes meaning that businesses often benefit from a better service for less cost.
Sustaining Your Infrastructure
With these considerations in mind, some organizations start to look to cloud solutions rather than colocation. However, cloud does not provide organizations with a fully auditable system and the ability to have full control over their own infrastructure. Colocation often enables businesses to avoid spending money on storage bills in the cloud as it is often cheaper to store information on their own servers.
From the periodic necessary replacement of UPS batteries, to the maintenance and testing of UPS systems, the hidden costs of sustaining your infrastructure to optimal levels can be surprising. As part of a standard colocation solution, organizations instantly benefit from high level security with ISO 27001 accredited processes, onsite security teams and infrastructure.
Additionally, data centers have the time, resources and impetus to continually invest in and research green technologies. This means that businesses can reduce their carbon footprint at their office locations and benefit from continual efficiency saving research. Companies that move their servers from in-house server rooms typically save 90 percent on their own carbon emissions.
Location, Location, Location
Choosing a colocation provider away from a city or data center hub with optimal connectivity options – both to the capital, Europe and further afield – means having the advantages of all central data centers with the added benefits of having attractive power capabilities and the security of being away from centrally targeted terrorist activity. Out-of-town colocation providers allow businesses to take full advantage of the capital’s infrastructure without the premium costs associated with it.
A colocation solution provides companies with a variety of opportunities, with exceptional SLAs and having data secured off-site, providing organizations with added levels of risk management and the chance to invest in better equipment and state-of-the-art servers. This can enable IT teams the possibility to explore options such as virtualization and condense the amount of racks and servers required.
Colocation providers are able to meet business requirements at a lower cost than if the service was kept in-house. Data centers and colocation providers have the ability to have businesses up and running within hours, as well as provide the flexibility to grow alongside your organization. Colocation space, power, bandwidth and connection speeds can all be increased where required to ensure that all sizes of colocation clients can be catered to.
Did your computing needs shoot up overnight? Or did they drop drastically during your slow season? Instead of having to hire — or fire — new staff or purchase more equipment to handle it yourself, you can just make a call to your colocation provider and scale your service up or down as needed.
Colocation providers keep your servers in climate-controlled data centers, with high bandwidth speeds, and excellent redundancy for network connections. You won’t have to pay the costs to purchase and maintain this kind of IT infrastructure in your own offices, and your internal IT staff can focus on other business operations.
Quality colocation providers house your servers in secure data centers, with security measures that include biometric scanners, closed circuit cameras, on-site security, coded access, alarm systems, and more. And with colocation, you don’t have to hire or purchase any of these security measures yourself — it’s all included in your service plan.
If you have to move offices, or are hit with a power outage, or suffer a natural disaster, you won’t have to worry about your data or services going down. A colocation provider will have multiple backup generators and contingencies in place to ensure that there is never an interruption in service, for you, or for your customers.
Not only does using a colocation provider often save money, but it also turns unpredictable capital outlays into predictable monthly expenses. You only pay for your own equipment, not a whole datacenter. Your company will be able to budget for IT needs and allocate existing resources more efficiently.